The sports sector has been a priority for the Orbán cabinet since 2010 and not even the pandemic could change that. The industry received lots of money due to budget transfers. The church got a lot of financial support too, but what about the health sector?
Year by year, more money has been spent on the sports sector. The government has been funding the development of infrastructure, providing extra support for operating costs and so on. Even though the sports sector as it was before 2010 definitely needed help, and it also suffered a lot during the pandemic, the incredible amount of money that was transferred there (compared to other sectors) is difficult to justify – says Menedzsment Fórum. Based on the Hungarian Government Gazette’s publications, they researched how much money was transferred from the budget to what during these difficult times.
The sources of the transferred money include the Economic Protection Fund that was established to mitigate the pandemic’s negative impacts on the economy, emergency government reserves, and the Central Residual Fund.
Since the coronavirus outbreak in the spring, the Orbán cabinet has transferred 140.2 billion HUF (389.5 million EUR) to the sports sector, which is 541 million HUF (1.5 million EUR) per day.
The sector received 48.2 billion HUF (133.9 million EUR) during the first wave, 44.2 billion HUF (122.7 million EUR) during the summer when the restrictions eased, and 47.7 billion HUF (132.5 million EUR) since the beginning of the second wave.
Most of the money (104.2 billion HUF that is 289.4 million EUR) was spent on preparations and developments of facilities, for example, the Bozsik Stadium, Veszprém swimming bath, and the multifunctional sports hall in Tatabánya.
9.3 billion HUF (25.8 million EUR) was spent on competitive sports and Olympic preparations, 11.8 billion HUF (32.7 million EUR) on sports academies, 4-4 billion HUF (11.1 million EUR) on National Sports Centres, and 2.6 billion HUF (7.2 million EUR) on other expenditure including for example promotion.
Apart from the sports sector, considerable amounts were transferred to the church, too. Since March, they received 103.2 billion HUF (286.7 million EUR).
This was mostly spent on the protection of the church’s built heritage and “other investments”.
The health sector that faced a lot of challenges ever since the outbreak in comparison, received only 50.7 billion HUF (140.8 million EUR) from the budget transfers.
This is almost one-third of the amount that was spent on the sports sector, and half of what the church received.
Source: Menedzsment Fórum
As usual, one of Orban’s favourite motto remains: palinkam et circenses.
Perhaps the government thinks that sport is the cure-all for all ills, a panacea for the nation. Perhaps next time a member of the government becomes ill, he or she should buy a ticket to a football match or an athletics event at one of the new white elephant stadia and see if that will restore their health.